A British Labour Party politician who previously laughed at male suicide rates has been caught in a Twitter storm after setting up a movement to “Reclaim the Internet.”
The campaign, entitled “Recl@im the Internet,” was set up by Birmingham MP and vocal feminist Jess Phillips alongside other female MPs in order to “Take a Stand Against Online Abuse.”
In response to the campaign, YouTube commentator Sargon of Akkad tweeted at Phillips, saying, “I wouldn’t rape you,” after describing the movement as “social communism,” a comment which he has since deleted.
In response to the abuse, Phillips told Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC, “It’s as if I should be thankful that these people are saying they’re not going to rape me.”
“My local police officers watch what happens on Twitter and they get in touch with me,” she added.
Since then she has argued that Twitter’s apparent failure to respond to the abuse means it is colluding with trolls.
To see the attack of a pack on here check out my mentions 600 odd notifications talking about my rape in one night. I think twitter is dead
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) May 30, 2016
“Until Twitter makes this sort of thing stop happening and stops accepting that this sort of dogpiling and mass bullying can happen, their business model is totally flawed. People who don’t like this feral side of the internet are just going to walk away,” she said.
Phillips was previously criticised for mocking a proposal to discuss high male suicide rates in parliament, later going to complain that she was the “victim of a vile hate campaign” on the Internet.